China Eastern Airlines to receive $4.6 billion capital injection

FILE PHOTO: A China Eastern Airlines aircraft is seen parked on the tarmac in Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, China June 4, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines 600115.SS will receive a cash injection of 31 billion yuan ($4.60 billion) from four new investors as part of an equity diversification plan, the company said on Monday.

China Life Investment Holding Limited, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Life Insurance Co 601628.SS, will inject 11 billion yuan into the airline, while Shanghai Jiushi Group, another state company, will inject 10 billion yuan, according to the public filing.

China Reform Holdings Corporation and China Tourism Group, both state-owned entities, will inject 5 billion yuan each.

The move is part of long-standing China’s efforts to diversify ownership structures among its state-owned enterprises and comes at a critical time after China Eastern posted a net loss of 8.5 billion yuan in the first half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

China Southern Airlines 600029.SS also announced last year that it would receive a capital injection of 30 billion yuan from three investors.

Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney, editing by Louise Heavens